Fordham Dining Fails to Meet Needs of Students




College is a hectic time for many students who are juggling between academics and personal commitments. Trying to study for multiple exams while also attending back-to-back classes can be quite stressful. After a strenuous day and an empty stomach, you can hardly wait to get home and have some of that amazing home cooked dinner. That is until you realize you live at college. Well, at least there are many varieties to choose from… right? While this applies more to residents than commuters, Fordham dining is the main source of food for the three meals a day for all freshmen living in McKeon Hall. Everyone has their own tastes and preferences, but one common complaint regarding the dining hall is the lack of healthy options.

The dining hall is a nice advantage to living on campus. While it may not be open 24 hours a day as some may wish, the dining hall is open for reasonable hours seven days a week. Regardless of one’s opinions on the dining hall, all freshmen residents in McKeon Hall are required to purchase a meal plan. So if you are one of the people who dislikes eating dining hall food, and you are a freshman, you may have to somehow manage to get by with Fordham’s food. Fortunately for those who prefer to not eat campus food, after your freshman year, you are free from the dining hall. The dining hall has fries, burgers, pizza and sandwiches available everyday for lunch and dinner with a constantly-changing main course for all three meals of the day. It seems like salads are the only continuing option always available for lunch and dinner. But, one healthy option in comparison to the rest of the unhealthy food options that are available is completely unbalanced.

Several Fordham residents had varied opinions regarding the dining hall quality and choices of healthy options. 

One student gave a positive review of the dining hall’s array of healthy choices. Matthew Gallo, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’20, who went on to admire the food options, stated, “The dining hall gives out many healthy food options, especially with the salad bar, their gluten free section, and the sandwich section. I really don’t have anything bad to say, because I always am able to eat something healthy, like broccoli, when I’m down there, without feeling I’m limited on my options.” Gallo went on further and said, “In fact, I believe that the dining hall has more healthy options when compared to the Ram Café, due to the dining hall allowing the students to get as much lettuce and other healthy things without buying a separate salad.” He concluded his overall opinion by adding,  “So, overall, I believe that the dining hall gives plenty of healthy options, from their salad bar in the middle, to their gluten free section in the corner. What I would like to see changed is their quality of scrambled eggs, because they don’t taste very good, and are watery.”

Aramark, Fordham dining’s food provider, commented by explaining its food selection process. When asked the question, “How do you decide on the food Aramark makes and ships each day,” they replied with, “Lots of input from our talented team of professionals and certified chefs goes into the meals we create each day. We have an exceptional culinary team on the ground that works to craft menus based on a broad range of factors specific to our students here at Fordham.” Aramark went on to say, “Our menus feature lower calorie choices; vegan, vegetarian and whole grain options; seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables; and a variety of whole foods that are raised, grown, harvested, and produced locally and in a sustainable manner. We are also continuously introducing new entrees and side dishes, featuring international flavors and more seafood, vegan and vegetarian entrees… In addition to our team on the ground, we have regional and other forms of support that help to ensure best practices and drive us forward.” Aramark then went on to state that their “operation includes 18 different restaurant styles concepts, 13 retail dining locations, and four resident dining facilities serving the community every day, all months of the year.”

The food service provider emphasized its focus on delivering the best quality food with great management. The representative stated, “[We] fielded a fantastic team of top line managers who came to support Fordham leaving positions at renowned campus dining programs such as NYU and Columbia while retaining managers that joined from Sodexo such as myself and Rose Hill catering director John Burns.” Despite the many employees, Aramark prides itself in having a front line staff dedicated to engaging with students each day and providing the common goal of an exceptional delicious dining  program. Regardless, the dining hall is either a great or not so great place for getting your meals. For all freshmen in McKeon Hall, it is smart to just make the best of the dining hall by being responsible with what you eat. For those who dislike the dining hall, after your freshman year, you won’t have to eat there again.